This past month, Jelinek was honored as Teacher of the Month for February. The recognition is sponsored jointly by EFCO, a Pella company, and The Monett Times. In honor of her achievement, Jelinek was presented with a plaque and a $250 check from EFCO for use in her classroom. The presentation was made in front of all the Trinity Lutheran students and staff during chapel.
Jelinek has been teaching at Trinity Lutheran for seven years. Prior to joining the Trinity faculty, Jelinek, who holds an associate's degree from Crowder College in Neosho and a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, substitute taught for several years at area schools.
Teaching at Trinity Lutheran has been a blessing for Jelinek.
"I really love being in a small Lutheran school where the students can learn in a good Christian atmosphere, and they have a smaller teacher-to-student ratio," said Jelinek. "Trinity is also where I went to school, so it is nice to have students of former classmates.
"I have had such great groups of students over the years," added Jelinek. "We have a lot of parent involvement as well, which is always nice."
In addition to her classroom teaching duties, Jelinek tutors several days a week, serves as the school's spelling bee coordinator and runs the score clock at home games.
When she is not teaching, Jelinek enjoys baking cakes and cupcakdes, traveling and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
Jelinek said receiving the Teacher of the Month award was an honor.
"I was extremely surprised. I was not expecting it," said Jelinek. "It makes you feel good when someone recognizes the work you do."
Jelinek said she plans to use her $250 prize to purchase new books for her classroom library and resource books to supplement instruction.
"I'm sure the students will also have some ideas on how to use it as well," added Jelinek.
The Teacher of the Month program is sponsored by EFCO, a Pella Company, and The Monett Times. Any public or private school teacher who teaches kindergarten through 12th grade in Monett, Purdy, Verona, Pierce City or Freistatt is eligible for the award. Nominations can be made by students, parents or fellow educators.
For more information about the program or the nomination process, email firstname.lastname@example.org.